Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Banana Crumb Cake

Banana Crumb Cake - made April 13, 2014 from Cookies and Cups
Got overripe bananas and want to do something with them other than banana bread? Or, in my case, yet another attempt at a fluffy banana cake with cream cheese frosting? Here's a different way to use up black-skinned, mushy bananas and you'll be thanking yourself for their transformation into this yummy crumb cake.
I am inordinately fond of crumb cakes. Who doesn't love all that crusty brown sugar caramelizing on top of baked cake? I don't make it often because, well, you know, I'd eat it. Which sounds funny because I do eat everything I make. But it's just a matter of how much. I'm typically pretty good about eating a small portion of something as a taste test but then I can walk away and be fine not eating anymore. Yes, I've been told I'm weird that way. But there are certain things I'm less good about walking away from after a tiny piece and this just got added to that list.
This was delicious. Granted, I taste-tested it when it was still lukewarm and the icing had barely set so it was at its peak scrumptiousness. Normally I like to let banana cakes mellow and develop more flavor by eating them the next day but this didn't suffer from being consumed right away. The banana flavor wasn't as pronounced as it was slightly overshadowed by the brown sugar streusel crumb topping but I think that's why I liked it so much. You don't need to include the glaze over it but it doesn't hurt either. At first, when I was sprinkling the crumb topping over the top layer of batter, I was afraid it was too much topping. But I didn't want it to go to waste so I used up all of it. Which was good because it added to the deliciousness of the cake. You can't have a decent crumb cake without a decadent crumb layer so don't skimp!
Once the cake cools and settles, the texture gets a bit heavier. It was probably at its optimum texture when it was still a bit warm. But either at room temperature or warm this was pretty good. I took most of it into the office the next day and I can always gauge how good a recipe is by how long it lasts or doesn't last in the kitchen. A nearly full 9 x 13 cake cut into squares lasted a couple of hours - success. I think the record for fastest baked good to disappear was just over an hour. That recipe will be up on my blog in the next week or so.
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk

Crumb Filling and Topping
1 cup cold butter, cubed
2 cups light brown sugar
2 cups flour

Optional Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons of milk, depending on desired consistency

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mash bananas until they become liquified.
  4. Mix in softened butter until combined then stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla; mix well.
  5. Stir in milk and flour until combined.
  6. Crumb Filling and Topping: Combine cold butter, brown sugar and flour together with a fork or pastry cutter or two knives until coarse crumbs form.
  7. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and top with 1/3 of the crumb mixture. Cover the filling with the remaining batter and top with remaining crumb mixture.
  8. Bake for 50-55 minutes until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes.
  9. For optional glaze: whisk powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. Drizzle on top of crumb cake.

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